Delhi

17 Delhi policemen succumb to virus despite one dose of vaccine

As many as 17 Delhi police personnel, who had received only the first vaccine shot, succumbed to COVID-19 during the second wave, till Wednesday, said a senior police officer.

Senior police officers expressed fears of fatigue interfering with the immunity of even the fully inoculated lot, even as medical experts agree.

The officer said that during the first wave of COVID-19, a total of 33 policemen died when there was no vaccine. During the second wave, a total of 17 policemen has died so far. The vaccination process of around 82,000 police personnel, who are front-line workers, was completed. But several were waiting for their second dose and simultaneously performing duties on ground and were exposed to the threat of the virus.

“Policemen are front-line workers and during the pandemic, they are providing all kinds of services to people. In many cases, policemen have cremated bodies when families refused to come forward, fearing infection. Policemen are distributing food packets and performing law and order duties to strictly implement curfew orders,” said the officer.

He added that most of the policemen have got the second dose of vaccination, but have not completed two weeks before being exposed to the virus again. Doctors say that after vaccination, it takes about two weeks for a body to build immunity. When the process of second dose of vaccination of policemen was under way, the second wave hit the city and infected them.

“At present, around 2,000 policemen have tested positive and undergoing treatment,” added the officer.

Arun Gupta, president of Delhi Medical Council, said that both the vaccines available in the country have efficacy rate of 70%. Even after getting both the doses, 30% people will remain vulnerable. A body will develop immunity only after two weeks of receiving both the doses. Front-line workers, like policemen, doctors and others are working non-stop after being vaccinated. They cannot afford to take leave at this time, he added.

‘Single dose insignificant’

“People, who have received a single dose, are vulnerable and people with both the doses are vulnerable until they give their bodies two weeks to develop antibodies. Single dose is not significant,” said Mr Gupta.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 4:18:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/17-delhi-policemen-succumb-to-virus-despite-one-dose-of-vaccine/article34434652.ece

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